Yorkville University recently celebrated the accomplishments of more than 500 Bachelor of Business Administration graduates during its first-ever, in-person convocation ceremonies in British Columbia.
The newly minted Classes of 2021 and 2022 were feted on Thursday, April 21 during a pair of convocation ceremonies in New Westminster, B.C. that were presided over by Yorkville University President Dr. Julia Christensen Hughes.
“Here you are,” Christensen Hughes told the 300 graduates who were on hand at the Anvil Centre to receive their business degrees with specializations in Accounting, Energy Management, General, Project Management, and Supply Chain Management.
“You made it through all the turmoil and uncertainty and change of the last several years. You dug deep. You demonstrated remarkable resolve. You embraced a learning journey fraught with uncertainty, and you earned your grades through hard work and impressive academic accomplishments.”
Later in her opening address, Christensen Hughes asked each of Yorkville’s assembled graduates to look back – not only on their proudest moments during their studies, but also on their biggest struggles and how they overcame them.
“Because if there’s one thing I know for sure, that’s where wisdom comes from – strength and empathy, too,” she said.
“It’s not from the things you seemingly achieve effortlessly, it’s from when you faced something head on and had to dig down with all your might to find out who you are, to believe in yourself and to rise to the occasion. That’s wisdom. Wisdom is hard earned.”
Distinguished Convocation Speaker Dr. Roger Barnsley
Joining Christensen Hughes in her congratulations of Yorkville’s newest graduates was Order of British Columbia recipient Dr. Roger Barnsley, who attended the event as Yorkville’s Distinguished Convocation Speaker.
Over the course of a career in educational leadership that has spanned more than 40 years and seven provinces, Barnsley confessed he’s attended more than 100 such convocation events in his time – an experience he continues to be “impressed, excited and humbled” to share with graduates.
To mark Yorkville’s 2022 graduation, Barnsley shared some of the life lessons he’s learned over his 80 years of life – namely, to ensure that you always find meaning, satisfaction and happiness in your work; to find wise mentors to help guide your way in achieving those ends; and last, but not least, to take responsibility for your own path.
“What I have learned about life’s journey is that each person is in control of his or her own life. Events, both good and bad, will happen to us all. But how we handle those events, and how we proceed, are decisions that each of us make for ourselves,” he said.
“So, it is important – even essential – that you think about yourself, get to know yourself, and determine how you are going to live your life.”
Those who emerge most successful in life, he added, tend to be lifelong learners who aren’t afraid to explore their options and to take risks.
“I have observed that successful people enjoy learning and experimenting. They seek new experiences and opportunities for both personal and professional development and are fully engaged with the time they have available,” Barnsley said
“Generally, such people are, within reason, risk takers. These people are not discouraged by disappointment or failure, rather successful people do not consider a negative outcome a failure, they see it as gaining experience that can be useful and important at a later date.”
BBA Project Management Valedictorian Ingrid de Eloi Tenorio
One such risk taker amongst this year’s graduating class was Ingrid de Eloi Tenorio, who admitted she had to conquer her shyness in order to serve as valedictorian of the BBA Project Management program.
She, like many of her fellow graduates, left the security of family and friends behind to study at Yorkville University as an international student.
“Perhaps, this is the university’s great magic – bringing people from all over the world, from all cultures and different ways of life and putting them together to learn from each other,” said Tenorio, who came to Canada from Brazil to study at Yorkville.
“It’s not easy to move from another country; it’s not easy to be far from family, but we have to look back and be thankful for all the accomplishments we have already achieved and be proud of our personal development.”
Looking back on her own time at Yorkville, Tenorio said perhaps the biggest growth she’s seen in herself has been in her confidence levels – confidence in herself, confidence in the professional she’s become, and confidence in just how far she can now go.
“Now, I invite you to do the same,” she urged her fellow graduates. “Look back at your journey and reflect what you changed in yourself and what you’ve learned.
“Time flies. It will not wait for anyone, so it’s time to stand up, time to grow up, time to go after everything we dream of.”
BBA Supply Chain Management Valedictorian Mehakpreet Kaur
For Mehakpreet Kaur, valedictorian of the BBA Supply Chain Management program, the journey to fulfilling her dreams began in 2019 when she came to Canada from India to study at Yorkville.
“I left my country to become somebody special, somebody who would stand out in front of everyone. And as I stand here, I am proud to say that I made the right decision to come to Yorkville University,” she said, noting that she was excited, but also a little scared, to be living on her own for the very first time.
“This country and this university have become a home for me – a home away from home… Every single interaction and experience I have had in this university have been wonderful and will remain within my memory for always.”
Kaur also extended her congratulations and well wishes to her fellow graduates, whom she credited with making her Yorkville experience all the more special.
“Today, we all are starting a new chapter of our lives, as every end has a new beginning. Today might be our last day as students in business school, however I really believe that our journey of learning will restart from today onwards,” she said.
“Congratulations, we have done it! All the hard work has finally paid off, and we are ready to take our knowledge and skills to the next step. I wish you all a bright future ahead.”
Before inviting Yorkville’s newly graduated Class of 2021 and 2022 alumni to throw their ceremonial caps in the air in celebration, Christensen Hughes wished them well in their future endeavors.
“It is the knowledge, skills and values that you have learned or further honed with us that will absolutely set you up for success in life and in the next chapter in your story,” she said.
“We so look forward to learning where your journey will take you next, and we sincerely hope you will stay in touch so we can continue to celebrate your accomplishments.”
President’s Award Winners
The following graduates won Yorkville University’s President’s Award for earning the highest cumulative average in their respective graduating classes:
- Bachelor of Business Administration, Project Management – Sebastian Caruso
- Bachelor of Business Administration, General – Jin Xiong
- Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting – Paolo Grisafi
- Bachelor of Business Administration, Energy Management – Gagandeep Kaur
- Bachelor of Business Administration, Supply Chain Management – Urvish Ashokbhai